FULL CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR THE SPELLBINDING WEST END TRANSFER OF THE WORST WITCH FLYING INTO THE VAUDEVILLE THEATRE FROM 24 JULY ­ 8 SEPTEMBER

FULL CASTING ANNOUNCED

FOR THE SPELLBINDING WEST END TRANSFER OF

FLYING INTO THE VAUDEVILLE THEATRE 

FROM 24 JULY – 8 SEPTEMBER 

Full casting has been announced for the West End transfer of The Worst Witch, adapted for the stage by Emma Reeves from JillMurphy’s original books. The Worst Witch opens at the Vaudeville Theatre from 24 July – 8 September 2019, following a hugely successful nationwide tour. 

Reprising their acclaimed roles for the West End premiere, the all-female cast are: Rosie Abraham (Peter Pan Goes Wrong) as Ethel; Danielle Bird (Alice’s Adventures Underground) as Mildred; Molly-Grace Cutler (We’ll Live and Die in These Towns) as Miss Bat; Meg Forgan (We’ll Live and Die in These Towns) as Fenella; Rachel Heaton (The Odd Couple) as Miss Hardbroom; Rebecca Killick (Pink Mist) as Maud; Emma Lau (Table) as Drusilla; Megan Leigh Mason (Sunny Afternoon) as Miss Drill; Polly Lister (Table) as Agatha/Miss Cackle; and Consuela Rolle (Remember, Remember) as Enid. They welcome Lauryn Redding (Educating Rita) as Griselda to Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches for the first time.  

The Worst Witch is the story of an ordinary girl who finds herself in an extraordinary place: a school for witches.

Accident-prone Mildred Hubble and her fellow pupils leave a trail of mayhem behind them as they find themselves at the centre of a battle that’s being fought for their future.

Featuring Jill Murphy’s much-loved characters, the production includes original songs, music, magic and a dose of Mildred’s unique brand of utter pandemonium!

The Worst Witch is directed by Theresa Heskins (2017 UK Theatre Award for Best Show for Children and Young People) and designed by Simon Daw, with lighting by Aideen Malone, sound by Leigh Davies, original music by Luke Potter, aerial direction by Vicki Amedume, choreography by Beverley Norris-Edmunds, and illusions by John BulleidKenny Wax Family EntertainmentNovel Theatre and Nica Burns present a Royal & Derngate, Northampton Production.

WEST END BARES 10th Birthday Announced

TICKETS ON SALE NOW FOR

WEST END BARES

10th BIRTHDAY!

SUNDAY 13OCTOBER

AT TROXY

After nine spectacular sold out shows raising over £300,000 for the Make A Difference Trust, WEST END BARES, theatre’s hottest annual fundraiser, returns for its 10th birthday with a one-off celebratory performance on Sunday 13 October at Troxy at 8.30pm with 1500 tickets on sale NOW.

Starting in 2010 at Café de Paris, WEST END BARES quickly grew in size and before long moved to the larger Novello Theatre, before eventually arriving at the Shaftesbury Theatre. For its 10th birthday WEST END BARES moves to Troxy for an almighty party to celebrate 10 stunning years of daring to bare.

This year’s theme will be announced later in the summer and follows nine years of incredible shows including West End Bares’ unique take on the Olympics in 2012, Fashion in 2011, a Nude Dunnit murder mystery in 2014, reaching new heights of nearly naked pleasure in TAKE OFF in 2015 and turning the colourful characters of Oz upside down in Ruby Strippers in 2017. This year’s anniversary show follows 2018’s TOP OFF OF THE POPS which was hosted by Tom Allen and saw over 100 performers including Eva Noblezada, Laura Baldwin, Natasha Barnes, Luke Baker and Jon Robyns dare to bare, paying tribute to iconic music artists; the event raised over £60,000 for the Make a Difference Trust, a new record.

Special celebrity guests and performers for this year’s performance will be announced in due course. Previous celebrity supporters over the last ten years have included Graham Norton, John Barrowman, Eddie Izzard, Samantha Bond, Dame Judi Dench, Joe Lycett, Beverley Knight, Summer Strallen, Bianca del Rio, Michelle Visage, Adam Garcia, Dianne Pilkington, Mark Gatiss, Ian Hallard, Celinde Schoenmaker and Oliver Savile.

Artistic Director, David Grewcock said today, Since 2010, over 600 incredible performers have dared to bare in front of nearly 10,000 audience members. To celebrate our 10th Anniversary, we are pulling out all the stops and throwing a party like no other – and with the return of a strictly limited number of standing tickets in the Pit, as close to the action as you can get, you do not want to miss it!”

The event is based on the original concept ‘Broadway Bares’ by legendary Broadway and West End director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids.

Melanie Tranter, Chair of the Make A Difference Trust said, “West End Bares only happens because of the incredible generosity of the theatre community who give their time and talent so generously to make this incredible show possible. We are delighted to be celebrating ten years of West End Bares.”

Building on a legacy of over 30 years of fundraising by the theatre industry, The Make A Difference Trust raises funds for HIV and AIDS projects that build awareness and provide care, support and education in the United Kingdom and Sub-Saharan Africa. The Trust works with established partners to ensure projects have maximum impact and are sustainable. The Trust has distributed grants to support individuals experiencing hardship across the UK as well as grants to support projects with their UK and International partners, to relieve poverty, provide a safe environment and education for children and orphans affected by HIV and AIDS, and to secure the needs of the individual and the greater community as a whole For further information about the Make A Difference Trust please visit www.madtrust.org.uk

Tickets for WEST END BARES are on sale now and are priced at £25 – £80.

Tickets are available from www.madtrust.org.uk or the Troxy booking line 020 790 9000 and in person at Troxy. Booking fees apply.

VIP tickets are available directly from the MAD Trust by calling 020 7231 9719 and include access to the pre-show drinks reception, VIP entrance to the theatre with a drink on arrival, £10 of MAD money, the best seats in the House for the legendary Rotation and access to the Exclusive After Party. Booking fees apply.

Sue Johnston joins cast of THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT

Jenny King, Jonathan Church, Matthew Gale and Mark Goucher present

STEPHEN MANGAN

KARA TOINTON and SUE JOHNSTON

 in

The Man in the White Suit

Adapted for the stage by Sean Foley

Based on the play The Flower Within the Bud by Roger MacDougall and Screenplay by Roger MacDougall, John Dighton and Alexander Mackendrick.  

By special arrangement with STUDIOCANAL

Directed by Sean Foley

Designed by Michael Taylor

  • SUE JOHNSTON JOINS THE PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED STEPHEN MANGAN AND KARA TOINTON IN THE WORLD PREMIERE STAGE PRODUCTION OF THE EALING COMEDY CLASSIC
  • ADAPTED AND DIRECTED BY SEAN FOLEY, THE PRODUCTION WILL PLAY A LIMITED SEASON AT THEATRE ROYAL BATH AS PART OF ITS 2019 SUMMER SEASON FROM SEPTEMBER 5TH – 21ST, PRIOR TO OPENING AT WYNDHAM’S THEATRE IN PREVIEW FROM SEPTEMBER 26TH WITH AN OPENING NIGHT OF OCTOBER 8TH

The producers of Sean Foley’s hotly anticipated stage adaptation of classic Ealing Studios comedyThe Man in the White Suit are delighted to announce that Sue Johnston (The Royle Family, Brookside, Coronation Street) will join the cast for a strictly limited engagement. The British Comedy Award-winning actress will play ‘Mrs Watson’ from 5th September for three weeks at Theatre Royal Bath prior to nine weeks at the Wyndham’s Theatre from 26th September. The world premiere production will then continue its engagement in the West End until 11th January 2020 with further casting to be announced.

The 1951 iconic Ealing Studios comedy film starred Alec Guinness, Joan Greenwood and Cecil Parker. It was directed by Alexander Mackendrick and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing (Screenplay).

When Sidney Stratton develops a fabric that never gets dirty and never wears out, manufacturers and trades unions are terrified by the threat it poses to their industry and their jobs. Only Daphne, the mill owner’s daughter, shows Stratton any sympathy as his world gradually falls apart before he finally finds love and a new idea.  

This world premiere production will reunite Stephen Mangan and Sean Foley who created the Olivier Award winning comedy Jeeves and Wooster together. Foley also teams up again with Michael Taylor with whom he created the five times Olivier Award nominated The Ladykillers. Foley’s production will feature a cast of fourteen including actor musicians and a specially written score.

Adapted and directed by Sean Foley, with set and costume design by Michael Taylor, The Man in the White Suit is based on the play The Flower Within the Bud by Roger MacDougall and Screenplay by Roger MacDougall, John Dighton and Alexander Mackendrick. This world premiere production is presented by Jenny King, Jonathan Church, Matthew Gale and Mark Goucher, by special arrangement with STUDIOCANAL.

LISTINGS

THE MAN IN THE WHITE SUIT

Theatre Royal Bath

Saw Cl, Bath BA1 1ET
September 5th – 21st 
Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm, Wednesday and Saturday matinees 2.30pm 
https://www.theatreroyal.org.uk/
01225 448844

Wyndham’s Theatre
Charing Cross Rd, Covent Garden, London WC2H 0DA
First preview: September 26th at 7.30pm
Opening night: October 8th at 7pm
Final performance January 11th at 7.30pm
Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm, Wednesday and Saturday matinees 2.30pm

https://www.delfontmackintosh.co.uk/theatres/wyndhams-theatre/

SERGEI POLUNIN ~ Triple Bill Review

London Palladium – 28th May 2019

Reviewed by Andrew Walters

4****

Not since the great days of Rudolf Nureyev has there been a dancer with quite the star-power of Sergei Polunin. The self-styled “ lion “ of ballet has roared into London this week as part of a lengthy world tour to perform his latest showcase featuring two completely different programmes.

Not for Polunin the safe, traditional dance houses of Sadler’s Wells, or the London Coliseum. Instead, he has chosen to hire the greatest variety theatre in the world, the London Palladium to show his new works.

With this major venue comes much higher expectation, equally high ticket prices, and the challenge of filling a very large theatre. For a solo ballet dancer, no matter how brilliant, this is quite a challenge. The question is, does he succeed? 

Programme One begins with Fraudulent Smile, featuring witty choreography by Ross Freddie Ray, and quintessentially french flavoured music by Kroke. The curtain goes up on a single dancer, dressed in a clown-like outfit and make-up, who is NOT Sergei Polunin. He is joined by six other identically dressed dancers, male and female, who are essentially androgynous. The programme explains that they are all ONE person. In a series of vignettes, the piece builds to a shocking moment of violence, which begs the question “ why does a good man do bad things?”

The ensemble here features world class dancers of the calibre of Johan Kobborg, Alexey Lyubimov and Dejan Kolarov. 

When the man we have all come to see finally arrives on stage, he is somewhat separate and aloof, taking in the moment, allowing us a good amount of time to simply absorb him, before he finally begins to dance. Of course as soon as he does, he is a thrilling, whirling mass of long hair and muscle, and is at once Spartacus, Romeo, Tybalt, Crown Prince Rudolf ( Mayerling ) and every other masculine hero from ballet that you can think of. He is simply jaw-dropping to watch. 

However, “ Fraudulent Smile” , staged in a black and white box, with stark, white lighting, comes to an end after a mere 30 minutes and we then have a 30 minute interval.

The second of the three ballets, “ Paradox” follows. It is staged to a mixture of music from Stravinsky’s “ The Soldier’s Tale” and solo piano music of Chopin. Two dancers, Alexey Lyubimov and Dejan Kolarov perform a series of solos and duets which seem to be setting up a conflict between the “ old and new”, or classical and contemporary. The Chopin solos are danced by the pale. highly charismatic Lyubimov, whilst Kolarov, brunette and dark- haired represents the other, contemporary side. Most effective here are the poems , read by an uncredited Jeremy Irons, which inspire great choreography by Yuka Oishi, to the rhythm of the words. I have never seen the spoken word danced to before, without any music, and I found this very exciting.

The lights fade and then the last part of the evening commences without a break. This is “ Sacre”, a re-thinking of Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” for ONE dancer, Sergei Polunin. He moves quietly on to the stage, and then executes the most jaw-dropping  display of technical prowess and sheer stamina, in a series of athletic, bravura, extended solos. Although there are “down” moments which allow him to get his breath back, it is a wonder how he keeps this going for so long. However, he is the star of the show, and we have waited a long time for his big moment when he at last delivers the thrills that we expect.

At last he collapses in a heap in the middle of the stage, and the moment of sacrifice has taken place. Meanwhile, Lyubimov and Kolarov return, and in a tender epilogue to the evening, the tender music of Chopin returns and we realise that we have been witnessing the conflict between Sergei Polunin and his battle with trying to conform to the restrictions of classical ballet, and his desire to go his own way and be free.

In conclusion the question has to be asked…. does the evening deliver? Well, yes it does. By the end we have certainly experienced Polunin the man, and his awesome talent, whilst hoping that at some point we may be lucky enough to see him once again performing some of the great ballets in the canon, as well as his own contemporary creations. 


The Prince of Egypt Tickets on Sale Monday – Creative Team Announced


TICKETS ON SALE MONDAY AT 10AM FOR “THE PRINCE OF EGYPT”

FULL CREATIVE TEAM ANNOUNCED FOR NEW MUSICAL BASED ON THE

 DREAMWORKS ANIMATION FILM

LIMITED ENGAGEMENT BEGINS 5 FEBRUARY 2020 AT

LONDON’S DOMINION THEATRE

DreamWorks Theatricals (a division of Universal Theatrical Group), Michael McCabe and Neil Laidlaw are proud to announce the full creative team for THE PRINCE OF EGYPT, the new stage musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked) and a book by Philip LaZebnik (MulanPocahontas) and based on the celebrated DreamWorks Animation film. Joining the previously announced director Scott Schwartz (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and choreographer Sean Cheesman (So You Think You Can Dance) are acclaimed Chicago-based set designer Kevin Depinet; Tony Award®-winning costume designer Ann Hould-Ward (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast); two-time LA Ovation Award nominated lighting designer Mike Billings; three-time Olivier Award-winning and two-time Tony Award® nominated sound designer Gareth Owen (Come From Away); Olivier Award-winning and Tony Award® nominated projection designer Jon Driscoll (Ink, Brief Encounter) and acclaimed illusion designer Chris Fisher (Harry Potter and the Cursed ChildCompany). Orchestrations are by Olivier Award-winner and Tony Award® and Grammy® nominee August Eriksmoen (Come From Away) with musical supervision and arrangements by Dominick Amendum (Wicked). The Musical Director is Dave Rose (Wicked) and casting is by Jim Arnold CDG (Wicked).  Casting to be announced.

Tickets go on public sale at 10am on Monday (3 June 2019). Performances begin at London’s Dominion Theatre on Wednesday 5 February 2020, with an official London premiere on Tuesday 25 February 2020, for a limited 32-week engagement only. Tickets will be available via www.ThePrinceofEgyptMusical.com, in person at the Dominion Theatre Box Office and by phone: 0345 200 7982 (+44 161 876 2405 if dialling from outside the UK).

THE PRINCE OF EGYPT has music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Philip LaZebnik and features 10 new songs written by Stephen Schwartz, together with 5 of his acclaimed songs from the DreamWorks Animation film, including Deliver UsAll I Ever WantedThrough Heaven’s Eyes and the Academy Award®-winning When You Believe.

Journey through the wonders of Ancient Egypt as two young men, raised together as brothers in a kingdom of privilege, find themselves suddenly divided by a secret past. One must rule as Pharaoh, the other must rise up and free his true people; both face a destiny that will change history forever.

A milestone in cinematic achievement, DreamWorks’ The Prince of Egypt captivated movie audiences across the world and recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary. Hailed as “an outstanding artistic achievement” (Variety) and “a stunning film” (The Guardian), it remains one of the most beloved and acclaimed animated feature films of all time.

The Academy Award®-winning song When You Believe, recorded by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey in 1998, went on to become a global hit. In 2007, Simon Cowell selected it as the winner’s single for the UK’s popular TV show The X-Factor, spending three weeks at the top of the UK charts.

The new stage adaptation of THE PRINCE OF EGYPT originally premiered at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley (winner of the 2019 Regional Theatre Tony Award®) and Fredericia Teater Denmark.

Official websitewww.ThePrinceofEgyptMusical.com

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram: @PrinceOfEgyptUK

The Inbetweeners’ star Blake Harrison announced to join the cast of Waitress

THE INBETWEENERS’ STAR BLAKE HARRISON ANNOUNCED TO JOIN THE CAST OF

  • Blake Harrison, best known as Neil Sutherland in the award-winning comedy series The Inbetweeners, will take over the role of Ogie this summer
  • 30 Rock star Jack McBrayer will complete his West End debut run with the hit musical on Saturday 15 June

It is announced today that British television star Blake Harrison, best known for playing Neil Sutherland in the BAFTA-winning E4 comedy The Inbetweeners, will join the cast of Waitress as Ogie from 17 June. He will take over the role from Jack McBrayer, as previously seen as Kenneth in NBC’s 30 Rock, who will mark his final performance on Saturday 15 June.

It has also recently been announced that Lucie Jones will take over the role of Jenna following Katharine McPhee’s last performance on 15 June, and Ashley Roberts will step into the role of Dawn from 17 June for a strictly limited summer season. The next Waitress London Cast Album Karaoke Night has also been confirmed for Wednesday 26 June – in partnership with Gay Times. 

London’s brand-new smash hit musical comedy Waitresstells the story of Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker who dreams her way out of a loveless marriage. When a hot new doctor arrives in town, life gets complicated. With the support of her workmates Becky and Dawn, Jenna overcomes the challenges she faces and finds that laughter, love and friendship can provide the perfect recipe for happiness. 

Waitress celebrated its official opening night at the Adelphi theatre on 7 March and the Tony-nominated musical is now booking to 19 October.

Blake Harrison recently appeared in the highly acclaimed BBC Drama A Very English Scandal, alongside Hugh Grant, Ben Whishaw and Alex Jennings. He is well known for his role as Neil Sutherland in the multi award-winning E4 series The Inbetweeners, the success of which led to The Inbetweeners Movie and sequel The Inbetweeners 2. His other recent screen credits include Prime Suspect 1973, The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, E4 series’ Tripped and the feature film Dad’s Army. Upcoming screen credits include the comedy-crime film Madness In The Method, due for release later this year and the BBC’s new World War II drama World On Fire this September.  Theatre credits include STEP 9 (Of 12) in the West End at London’s Trafalgar Studios and, most recently, the lead role of Michael in The End Of The Pier at The Park theatre, London.

Brought to life by a ground breaking, female-led creative team, Waitress features an original score by 7-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles (Love Song, Brave), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam) and direction by Tony Award® winner Diane Paulus (Pippin, Finding Neverland) and choreography by Lorin Latarro. The production is currently touring the US and has also announced it will have its Australian premiere in 2020 at the Sydney Lyric Theatre.

Alongside Blake Harrison as OgieWaitress also stars Lucie Jones as Jenna, Ashley Roberts as Dawn, Marisha Wallace as Becky, Peter Hannah as Earl, David Hunter as Dr. Pomatter andShaun Prendergast as Old Joe.

The full company includes Kelly Agbowu, Piers Bate, Nicole Raquel Dennis, Michael Hamway, Peter Hannah, David Hunter, Lucie Jones, Stephen Leask, Chris McGuigan, Olivia Moore, Nathaniel Morrison, Sarah O’Connor, Leanne Pinder, Shaun Prendergast, Charlotte Riby, Ashley Roberts, Marisha Wallace and Mark Willshire. Laura Baldwin will return to the role of Dawn in Waitress at the end of the summer.

On its Broadway opening, Waitress was nominated for four Outer Critics’ Circle Awards, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical; two Drama League Award Nominations, including Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical; six Drama Desk Nominations, including Outstanding Musical; and four Tony Award Nominations, including Best Musical.

LISTINGS

WAITRESS
The Adelphi Theatre
The Strand,
London WC2R 0NS

Monday – Saturday evenings at 7.30pm
Wednesday & Saturday matinees at 2.30pm

24 Hour Telephone Booking line: 020 7087 7753

waitressthemusical.co.uk

Day seats are available to purchase in person from the theatre box office from 10am for £25. Mon-Weds performances from Monday 11 February. Subject to availability and at the box office’s discretion.

FINAL JUDGES AND GUEST PERFORMERS ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2019 WEST END GALA OF THE STEPHEN SONDHEIM SOCIETY STUDENT PERFORMER OF THE YEAR AND STILES + DREWE PRIZE

FINAL JUDGES AND GUEST PERFORMERS ANNOUNCED

FOR THE 2019 WEST END GALA OF

THE STEPHEN SONDHEIM SOCIETY STUDENT PERFORMER OF THE YEAR AND STILES + DREWE PRIZE

The Stephen Sondheim Society and Mercury Musical Developments today announce West End Musical Director Gareth Valentine as the final judgefor the 2019 Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year (SSSSPOTY), alongside the previously announced Julia McKenziePeter Polycarpou, and Edward Seckerson. Lyricist Charles Hart andOlivier Award-winner Jenna Russell join Nkeki Obi-Melekwe and Stiles + Drewe tocomplete the judging panel for the Stiles + Drewe Best New Song Prize. Winners will be announced at Theatre Royal Haymarket on Sunday 9 June.

Also announced today, the gala will feature guest performances from host Joanna Riding, and from Andy Coxon and Gabriela Garcia, the stars of the sold-out Royal Exchange Theatre production of West Side Story.

The Stephen Sondheim Society Student Performer of the Year, co-produced by The Stephen Sondheim Societyand Mercury Musical Developments, sees twelve of the top student performers from musical theatre and drama schools across the UK each perform a song by Stephen Sondheim, and a new musical theatre song written by members of Mercury Musical Developments. The performers are competing for the top prize of £1,000.

The Stiles + Drewe Prizesupports and develops new musical theatre writing, recognising an outstanding song from a new musical, and is supported by The Entertainment Business. The winner of Best New Song receives £1,000 to put towards developing their work.

WALES MILLENNIUM CENTRE TO HOST GIANT ABSEIL DOWN THE FRONT OF THE BUILDING, RAISING MONEY FOR ITS CHARITABLE WORK, TO CELEBRATE ITS 15TH BIRTHDAY

Wales Millennium Centre to host giant abseil down the front of the building, raising money for its charitable work, to celebrate its 15th birthday

Staff at Wales Millennium Centre and members of the general public are invited to abseil down The Centre’s iconic building in the heart of Cardiff Bay on Saturday 8th June 2019.

The Centre was opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2004, and this year celebrates its 15thbirthday. To mark this memorable occasion, The Centre is playing host to a giant abseil and family day of activities for charity.

Those who have signed up and raised funds will either abseil down the slate wall, or the magnificent inscription at the front of the building. With each participant aiming to raise £200, The Centre hopes to reach a target of £15,000 to support their charitable work.

There will also be an array of family entertainment for all to enjoy. Families are invited to come down to enjoy the day: watch the abseil take place, enjoy a barbecue and music led by our youth programmes, enter a raffle, and take part in some free family games and activities.

Wales Millennium Centre as a registered charity works every day to broaden people’s horizons and offer every young person in Wales access to the arts. Working in partnership with organisations like Grassroots and Valleys Kids, The Centre seeks to help those who have tougher lives than most to experience the arts, and the pleasure and life enhancement that it brings.

The Centre creates learning experiences, practical skills, workshops and courses, and gives young people the opportunity to take part in world-class theatre productions.

Since The Centre was opened 15 years ago, over 70,000 people have participated in their learning and engagement programme. The three core areas of learning through creativity are Performance Platfform, Radio Platfform and Behind the Platfform.

With a few spaces left on the abseil, get in contact with Wales Millennium Centre now to book your slot to raise money for charity and get that perfect Instagram shot.

To book your space onto the abseil, please email clwb@wmc.org.uk.

The Sign of Four Review

Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough – until 1st June 2019

Reviewed by Sara Garner

4****

Adapted and directed by Nick Lane. This is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s second full length novel and so finds a youthful Holmes and Watson early on in their friendship.

Nick Lane himself says that he didn’t want Holmes to be presented as a pastiche. From the start we focus not on Holmes’s eccentricities, but instead allow his portrayal in a much more serious way. This includes his use of narcotics during the first scene, and a superb example of ingenious deductive reasoning.

Watson and Holmes are introduced together and during this scene Watson turns occasionally to the audience to provide some narration. These small bits of narrative provides some cohesion to the story which helps the flow of the story line

The story moves from location to location, using the same superb set, designed by Victoria Spearing, which is moved around by the actors to great effect. Occasionally just the slightest move of a piece of set provides a visual illusion of a particular setting.

Several of the actors also play a variety of instruments throughout, usually to set the mood of a scene ahead. This is an interesting and highly effective tool.

With exception Luke Barton (Holmes) and Joseph Derrington (Dr Watson) who also briefly plays a minor role in the second half, all the actors play multiple roles. These character changes happen seamlessly in the first half. However as the pace picks up during the second half things can get a bit confusing. Though further narration may have been a possible solution to resolve this. .

Very interestingly the story is set during colonial times and more importantly touches on the early uprisings in India and is a reminder of this countries vulgar brutality and is a stark lesson regarding this countries unsavory past.

Luke Barton portrayal as Holmes and Joseph Derringtons portrayal of Dr Watson are both perfectly balanced and the developing bond between them is clear. Their relationship is both caring and nurturing, and humorous at times.

Stephanie Rutherford plays several female roles including Dr Watson’s future wife Mary Morstan. With a slight costume alteration and accent changes she is able to change skillfully and believable.

Christopher Glover plays a interesting array of characters with his Detective Athelney-Jones quite amusing, but a bit cliché.

Ru Hamilton was brilliant as the neurotic hypochondriac twin Thaddeus Sholto, but this was possibly to the detriment of his other characters.

Finally Zack Lee playing much more serious characters and whose slightly over long monologue as Jonathan Small explained the whole mystery. Zack managed to use the right balance between sinister, bombastic and vulnerable throughout.

It is obvious that a lot of work has gone into this production and that the cast also work very hard throughout.

However unfortunately for me the play misses the mark a bit and only because of the limitations of presenting such a complex piece on the small stage. The actors role changes work very well at times to the benefit of the performance. Unfortunately they also don’t go as well and leads to some confusion especially in the second half.

Despite this it is still a satisfying play to watch being thrilling, humorous, thought-provoking and ingenious at times.

Final casting announced for Tennessee William’s The Night of the Iguana

FULL CASTING CONFIRMED FOR

Cast join previously announced Clive Owen, Lia Williams

Anna Gunn & Julia Glover

Season begins Saturday 6 July | Noël Coward Theatre

Final casting is today announced for Tennessee William’s The Night of the Iguana which begins a strictly limited season at the Noël Coward Theatre on Saturday 6th July.

Alasdair Baker (The Bear, The Strangers) joins the cast as Herr Fahrenkopf; Timothy Blore (Edward II, Ghost About the House) as Wolfgang; Emma Canning (Heart in Cardio, Towers) as Charlotte Goodall; Karin Carlson (Ladies in Waiting) as Hilda; Ian Drysdale (Network) as Jake Latta; Manuel Pacific (West Side Story, The Most Amazing Story Ever Sung) as Pancho; Faz Singhateh (Henry V) as Hank; Finty Williams (A Pack of Lies, The Divide) as Miss Fellowes, and Penelope Woodman (The Last ShipMary Poppins) as Frau Fahrenkopf. Madeleine Day, Mufrida Hayes, Andrew McDonald and David Young complete the company.

The newly announced cast members join previously confirmed principals including Golden Globe-winner Clive Owen (Closer, Children of Men) who returns to the West End as Rev. T. Lawrence Shannon for the first time in 18 years; Lia Williams (The Crown, Mary Stuart) as Hannah Jelkes; two-time Emmy Award-winner Anna Gunn(DeadwoodBreaking Bad) in her West End debutas Maxine Faulk and Julian Glover (Game of Thrones) as Nonno.

The Night Of The Iguana will be directed by James Macdonald, (whose West End credits include the acclaimed recent production of Who’s Afraid Of Virginia WoolfThe Father and The Changing Room) and will be designed by Tony, Olivier and OBIE-award winning Rae Smith. Neil Austin is Lighting Designer, and Max Pappenheim isSound Designer.

It will begin performances at the Noël Coward Theatre on Saturday 6 July and play a strictly limited 12-week season.

Thrown together for one eventful night that pulses with conflicting passions and a surprising edge of humour, a group of tourists including Shannon, a disgraced priest and a troubled artist Hannah arrive at a remote coastal Mexican hotel run by the beautifully sensual Maxine. One night brings them together, and will leave them forever altered. What path will they choose?

Tickets are on-sale at www.iguanawestend.com

The Night Of The Iguana is produced by David Richenthal, Fiery Angel, Gavin Kalin and David M. Milch.